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Hebrews Chapter 13

Memory verses for this week:  1 Cor 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

Introduction:  In Chapter 12, we found that we are required to serve the Lord as a child of God.  And if we do not, we can be sure that chastisement will come.   We are to look at Jesus’ example and follow after him.    We will not make mistakes when we pattern our lives after Jesus.    We conclude our study of Hebrews today as we cover Chapter 13.

I.   Instructions for Christians

Heb 13:1  Let brotherly love continue.

Heb 13:2  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Heb 13:3  Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

I don’t think that we underestimate the power of love.   God wants us to love one another, and not to just limit that love to those that we know.   Of course we should care and prefer our Christian friends over others, but we should all have some friends that don’t know the Lord that we may be able to persuade to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ over time.

1 Cor 13:8  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

1 Cor 13:9  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

  1 Cor 13:13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

 We never know who we may come in contact with, and we should so live that Christian love is known in our daily walk.   The bible tells us here in verse 2 that we may entertain angels without knowing it.  Abraham had the opportunity to entertain angels.

Gen 18:1  And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;

Gen 18:2  And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,

Gen 18:3  And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:

Gen 18:4  Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:

Gen 18:5  And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.

Gen 18:6  And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.

Gen 18:7  And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.

Gen 18:8  And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

Gen 18:9  And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.

Gen 18:10  And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

Gen 18:11  Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

Gen 18:12  Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

Gen 18:13  And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?

Gen 18:14  Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

We have another record of a man entertaining angels in chapter 19 of Genesis.  Lot was visited by 2 angels when he lived in Sodom. 

Gen 19:1  And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

Gen 19:2  And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.

When it comes to loving others, we need to remember those that are in bonds.  And we know Satan has so many people bound in sin today.   We need to remember to pray for the lost every day, and then make an effort to reach them as God gives us opportunity.

Heb 13:4  Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Heb 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Paul speaks of marriage, and how that is honored by God and ordained of him.   Adam and Eve were the first man and woman united in marriage.

Gen 2:21  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

Gen 2:22  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Gen 2:23  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Gen 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Verse 5 is one that we all need to take to heart.  When we have a lot, it is easy to be content.  But Paul is telling the Hebrews to be content with “such things as ye have.”   Sometimes the pot may be empty, and we are still to be content.  Why?   Because we have a promise from an unchanging God, and he has promised to “NEVER LEAVE US nor forsake us.”  Because of this promise, we should fear no man as verse 6 says.

Heb 13:6  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

When we have God on our side, we are in the majority.  May not appear that way, but God is always righteous and on the side of right.   We can truly know that our helper is God as the Psalmist David declared in perhaps the greatest Psalm, Psalm 23.

Psa 23:1  A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Psa 23:2  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Psa 23:3  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Heb 13:7  Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Heb 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

We are told to remember those that have the rule over you.   This is speaking of  our pastor who haves to give an account for all of us one day before the Lord.  And when they speak the word of God to us, we are to listen.  God is the one who calls preachers, and they are to ones who are over the churches.

Acts 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Jesus was in the beginning with God when all things were created.  We have record of this in the book of John, and also when God spoke of making man when he said “Let us make man in our image.”   The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are eternal and are unchanging.   Some try to use this verse to teach that we today can still heal and raise the dead as Christ did.   But this would be taking this out of context, and would not be in harmony with other scriptures.  While Jesus is the same from the beginning unto the end, God has chosen to deal with man differently through the years.   I believe we are so blessed to be living in the current period called the dispensation of Grace.   It would have been very difficult to have lived during the Old Testament times when God’s wrath came quickly upon man.  Today Jesus not choose to speak to us through a flaming bush, but he did choose to speak to Moses through this manner.   Yet, He is still the same God.  In the early part of human history, God spoke direct to His prophets.   In the early days of the Apostles, he spoke through His son.   Today He speaks to us through His word and the directing of the Holy Spirit.

J. Vernon McGee said this about Jesus.

Jesus Christ is the same, but we need to understand how He is the same. He is the same in His character, in His person, and in His attributes, but He is not the same in place or in performance. When I was in the land of Israel I didn’t see Him over there. I saw very little evidence at all of Him in that land. Over nineteen hundred years ago He was in Bethlehem as a little baby, but He is no longer a baby and He is not in Bethlehem. Later He was a little boy playing in the streets of Nazareth, but I didn’t see Him. I saw a lot of little boys, but He was not one of them. A few years later as a man He walked through that land, and He did heal. I was in Jerusalem and I saw Golgotha, but there is not a cross there and He is not on a cross today. The whole thought of this epistle is that He is now at the right hand of God: “… We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Heb. 8:1); and we are to look “unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith …” (Heb. 12:2). He accomplished our redemption nineteen hundred years ago, and He sat down at the right hand of God. Right now He is up yonder, but some day He will come as the King to the earth to establish His Kingdom. He has not yet called His church out of the world, but some day He will do that. You see, Jesus is not the same in place and performance, but He is the same in His attributes  .[1]

Heb 13:9  Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

How can we keep ourselves from being carried about with divers and strange doctrines?  The best way is to know God’s word, and that comes by studying and continuing to study day after day.   We will never arrive when it comes to knowing God’s truths.  It is a lifelong pursuit, and God will bless us as we continue to grow in His word.  We are warned in II Timothy that the day is coming when men will not endure sound doctrine.  But we are told to study to show ourselves approved unto God as we rightly divide the word of truth.

2 Tim 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

2 Tim 4:4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.


2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

II.  Jesus Suffered Without the Gate

Heb 13:10  We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

Heb 13:11  For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.

Heb 13:12  Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Heb 13:13  Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

Those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat at the altar with us.  The Old Testament believers went to God through the priest.    Those priests took the book of those animals into the sanctuary to offer for sin.  The bodies of the beasts were burned on the outside of the sanctuary.

Adam Clarke said this about the Old Testament Sacrifices.

Hebrews 13:11

For the bodies of those beasts—Though in making covenants, and in some victims offered according to the law, the flesh of the sacrifice was eaten by the offerers; yet the flesh of the sin-offering might no man eat: when the blood was sprinkled before the holy place to make an atonement for their souls, the skins, flesh, entrails, etc., were carried without the camp, and there entirely consumed by fire; and this entire consumption, according to the opinion of some, was intended to show that sin was not pardoned by such offerings. For, as eating the other sacrifices intimated they were made partakers of the benefits procured by those sacrifices, so, not being permitted to eat of the sin-offering proved that they had no benefit from it, and that they must look to the Christ, whose sacrifice is pointed out, that they might receive that real pardon of sin which the shedding of his blood could alone procure. While, therefore, they continued offering those sacrifices, and refused to acknowledge the Christ, they had no right to any of the blessings procured by him, and it is evident they could have no benefit from their own. 

Jesus was tried and condemned in Jerusalem.  He was taken outside of the city and crucified on Mount Calvary.   It was at the place called Golgotha, the place of the skull.  He tells us in verse 13, to now go unto Jesus without the camp.  We need to go to Calvary, and we need to glory in the cross of Jesus.

Gal 6:14  But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

III.  We are to Offer the Sacrifice of Praise

Heb 13:14  For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

Heb 13:15  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Here on earth, we don’t have a lot that we can depend on.   Our life is fleeting, and we never know what the next day holds.  But we look for a continuing city, the city of God which will be continuing forever.   We are commanded in verse 15 to offer a sacrifice of praise to God continually.   If you are going to praise the Lord, you must do it now.   When our bodies go into the grave, our opportunity to praise the Lord for this life will end.

James 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

James 4:15  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

James 4:16  But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

Heb 13:16  But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Heb 13:17  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

We should continually offer praise to the Lord, and remember to pray and thank God for what He has done for us.   Again, Paul tells us to remember those who have the rule over us and to obey our pastors.  The pastor watches for your soul, and he will give an account for all that was taught in the church one day.  May we all learn the truth, and put it forth to others that God may be glorified.  Our pastor’s desire is for us to draw near unto God and to seek after His ways.  And if we are going to walk with God, we must be in agreement with him.

Amos 3:3  Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

IV.  The Benediction

Heb 13:18  Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.

Heb 13:19  But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.

Heb 13:20  Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Heb 13:21  Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Paul was always quick to ask for prayers from the brethren.   You and I need the prayers of one another, and we need to pray for one another, for our pastor, for the leaders of our nation.   We need God every day, and every hour.  Paul wanted to live honestly with a good conscience.   Paul calls Christ the “Great Shepherd of the sheep” in verse 20.   And thank God we have that everlasting covenant with Jesus.  Through him we can be made perfect and well pleasing in God’s sight.

John 10:11  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

John 10:12  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

John 10:13  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

John 10:14  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

John 10:15  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.


1 Pet 5:4  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Adam Clarke commented this on Christ making us perfect.

Hebrews 13:21

Make you perfect—Put you completely in joint. From the following terms we see what the apostle meant by the perfection for which he prays. They were to do the will of God in every good work, from God working in them that which is well pleasing in his sight.

1.This necessarily implies a complete change in the whole soul, that God
may be well pleased with whatsoever he sees in it; and this supposes its
being cleansed from all sin, for God’s sight cannot be pleased with any
thing that is unholy.

2.This complete inward purity is to produce an outward conformity to God’s
will, so they were to be made perfect in every good work.

3.The perfection within and the perfection without were to be produced by
the blood of the everlasting covenant; for although God is love, yet it is not
consistent with his justice or holiness to communicate any good to mankind
but through his Son, and through him as having died for the offenses of the
human race.

To whom be glory for ever—As God does all in, by, and through Christ Jesus, to him be the honor of his own work ascribed through time and eternity. Amen.

Heb 13:22  And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.

Heb 13:23  Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.

Heb 13:24  Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.

Heb 13:25  Grace be with you all. Amen.

God works through the child of God.   Paul urges the brethren to accept the words of exhortation that he has written.   He tells of how Timothy had been set at liberty through the saving power of Jesus Christ.   He closes with a salute to the brethren and asks that grace be with you all.   We all need God’s grace to face the challenges that lie before us.   And He is able and faithful to sufficiently provide when we will come and ask. 

Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge.  The lessons may not be sold without consent.   If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343. 

Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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